Foliage, Rattan and a New Collection.

Hi There !

So Miami was 80 something degrees.  I wasn't ready for that,  but I loved it.  Just being able to have lunch outside and wander around Coral Gables in the sun, was so nice.  While I am not sure I could live in Miami, I know I love to visit . . . I love the crisp white look, the Palm trees, the architecture and overall vibe.   This month Better Homes and Gardens asked "What Color Should You Decorate With" and included this yummy image.  Great mix of colors . . . ironically enough, it combined all the colors I am planning to use on the back half of the Mateo's house.  While we are focusing in on the black and white in the exterior, entrance, living, lounge and kitchen, as you move towards the kids spaces and back den, more saturated color makes an appearance.  These colors . . . .

I love tropical foliage - palms, alocasia, bismarkla, banana leaves, and spiky cycad leaves.  Not just for the beach house or the Miami house.  Bringing in a fiddle fig tree, or tall palm fronds is something I like to do in most spaces.

photo by mekenzie france

Our Designers Guild and Osborne & Little rep came to see us recently and I fell in L O V E with these new patterns by the House of Christian LaCroix - who never disappoints !

The new collection explores a tropical paradise.  From palm leaves to butterflies, feathers to fruit.  The shades are vibrant and crisp.  Wall coverings and fabrics are printed in such detail.  Take a look.

Along with the foliage a great mix of fruits and butterflies in what looks like hand drawn detail, beautiful.

With these hot colors I tend to be drawn to mid-century furniture, a lot of white, rattan and wicker.  Maybe a peacock chair?

The Crinoline Chair from B&B Italia, designed by Patricia Urquiola was introduced in 08 and is still a favorite, a reinvented peacock for sure.

A small dose here and there is the perfect touch.

And butterflies are back in this collection !

I would want my rattan and wicker to be an interesting shape of course !

Handwoven Boline Chair $998  (here

The vibrance of these Designers Guild stripes are perfect to mix in.

So go on a rattan search and get out the spray gun if it's faded and dull.

These are a few on my on line favorites . . .

A. Franco Albini Inspired Wicker Chair $399 (here), B. Vintage Rattan Leaf Shaped Throne Chair  $225 (here),  C. Laguan Rattan Arm Chair in White $59 (here), D. Vintage Steel and Rattan Rocking Chair $599 (here), E. Danielle White & Cappucino Dot Side Table $129 (here), F. Rattan Accent Table with Server Tray $250 (here), G. Ella Rattan Arm Chair $549 (here) H. Tilde Folding Armchair, Ash Grey $229 (here) I. Marianne Chaise Longue $399 (here), J. Rattan Bottle Caddy $119 (here), K. Orinda Stool ($179) (here),  L. Louisa Rattan Coffee Table $1.099 (here), M. Tuckernuck Oval Bike Basket $44.00 (here)

And a few of my "To the Trade" favorites which I am happy to source for you (along with any of these gorgeous fabrics and papers !!!) 

Where did this new found love of Rattan come from?
I recently placed this piece at the Freeman's Bald Island place.

It got a lot of raves on Instagram . . . I did a little research and low and behold . . .
the design was inspired by Janine Abraham and Dirk Jan Rol who's collaborative work from the late 1950's / 60's are fetching $15 to $20K at auction.

Good design always comes back . . .

Happy Sunday !


All for You Lindsay !!

Hi There !

Ok this is a looonnng post . . . and it's basically an on line "meeting" with my out of town client, Lindsay Mateo who treated to last weekend's jaunt to Miami . . .

Lindsay - you are a fast mover !!  Just when I thought she, her husband and daughter would be kicking back in the house we put together last year, she sold it in a matter of days and found a new project.  Reminds me of growing up with parents that moved a lot as well.  We laugh about the paint barely drying and the moving van pulling up. 

So this project should be fun in that I know Lindsay pretty well now.  She found the perfect . . . zip code in the Gables.  A place with great "bones." I was more than happy to run down to Miami for a few days and check it out.    Great street, has potential, great "flow" but needs work.  After getting a good look I agreed that all the windows needed changing out as well as the floors.  A complete gut job on the kitchen and baths.  We spent some quality time brain storming on the "look" while running around Miami and camping out at the Vicroy.  

I knew Kelly Wearstler would give me inspiration and she did. I have always loved her use of tile and large, unique pieces and accessories.  When I started working on Lindsay's boards I ended up turning it into a design marathon.  I was obsessed.  Thought this post would be a great way to walk her through it ... by reading my thoughts until we can personally get together, she's one of those anxious types !!

We decided we wanted a black and white, collected, "sexy" feeling.   My plan is to use all the good pieces from the previous house in the new house but not reproducing the same look or layout.  I knew I could mix in all her pieces in different rooms to give this place a new look.  I started with the living room -  good size, three small windows.  The plan is to change to one large window and use just the white leather sofa I have made for her and one of her family room chairs.

I worked my way around this room then backed into the foyer and small lounge just off that room.  Take a look at where I started . . .

The window has a black and white ombre curtain panel.  A flat, back tuck pleat to really see the pattern.  The window also has a function roman shade.  I especially love the raised "frayed" detail in this fabric and well as it's strong graphic look.

All the accessories - large silver shell lamps, concrete side tables and touches of antique brass all compliment a slight worn shag rug with black detail.

The side wall will have a new bump out (creating a master closet in the room behind it).  In that small recess a black shelf to give contrast to all the white walls and an accent paper with a huge antique paneled mirror filling the wall.  This mirror will reflect what we do in the foyer and bounce all that light around !

The paper on that accent wall is a soft pattern with great movement and the fabric on the chaise a dipped grey and black velvet.  It is the most comfortable chaise I found not too long ago.  Facing the front window and white leather sofa this room should create great conversation as well as being the first thing you see when walking in the home setting the tone !!

The back wall opens into a "formal" dining room that we are changing to small TV / lounge area.  I am incorporating one of the two grey chairs I ordered for her in the past as well as the white ceramic stool from her former living room !

Love all this !!

The "lounge" currently the dining room, is just off this living room and opens to the master bedroom on one side and kitchen on the other.  We don't need a big dining room.  I am continuing the paper down just the one wall from the living room to essentially open the two rooms and make them look as one giving you the look of a larger space.  Decided to create a space to watch TV for the grown ups without putting that TV in the living room.

I created two versions for the TV wall.  One with a large custom piece with upholstered cork leather doors and the other using the console I placed in her other house.  Depending on storage needs and budget we can decide.

Bringing her gold "egg" coffee table from the other house back in, on top of a new hide rug.  This rug is gorgeous and has a pattern very similar to the tile pattern I want to create on the foyer floor. 

This piece has a modern stacked trim, all hidden hinges and large vintage pulls.   The doors would have an inset upholstered panel.  Floating shelves that recess back above and below the TV.

A new love seat is the only piece in there, soft and comfortable with a really pretty back.  I want it to have interesting lines but don't want to clutter the room !

I backed my way into the foyer after I finished those two rooms.  The floor and wall paper create a ton of drama when you walk in.  I am repeating the pattern of the hide rug on the tile floor here.  With all the walls white in this home the contrast of this black paper will be gorgeous !
There is a door to the garage in there.  painting it black with a raised silver detail on it's flat panel will give it interest as well as blend in with the paper !  I want to repurpose her den chandelier from the old house in this space, add a new large simple art piece and few large scale accessories - Wearstler inspired.

Back over to the master, just off the living room and lounge.  Black and white as well.  The largest wall, you see when you enter, a grey and black paper.  New lower upholstered bed in a "mink" color, flanking black tables and white and gold lamps.  I want to create a large art piece over the bed using minks and black, a bit speckled.

As you turn you see that bump wall we are creating to give them a new, bigger closet.  A large art piece will keep you from looking at that blank odd wall.  Bringing the wall paper back on the opposing bed wall and a new large white dresser.  The back wall has enough room for the second grey chair and stoop from the previous house with a new tall antique mirror floor screen in the corner.

One of our stops in Miami was to the tile place !  We both loved a black and white stripe tile pattern.  Using it in the bath with antique brass fixtures !  Stunning !!!

The master has large sliding doors to the pool, quite the oasis !

One thing I do want to do is create interesting doors on the front of the house.  On the master side a painted grey to blend in with the paper, on the flip side painted white to blend in with that paper, both with center antique brass circular pulls and stacked trim detail.   A tall, dresser with lucite knobs and their living room rug from house no. 1 brings that warmer mink color into the space so it's not too stark with all the black and white !!

While I am incorporating many of her things from the previous house, the front of this house will all seem new !  Staying at the Vicroy and being a fan of Ms. Wearstler's work, I drew inspiration for the look and feel but in my own way.  Antique brass, white, black, pattern with lots of sleek drama.

The kitchen - gut job.  Want it open, white, clean and interesting !  This board is a view looking back into the foyer.  Open space and not exactly sure what the previous owner used it for .. maybe a den or breakfast room?  Anyway . . . two center islands and with tons of storage.  A new longer bank of cabinets shooting across the center wall, leaving the side wall empty to move around and fill with art possibly.

Lindsay kicked me a picture of this tile she found on Pinterest and I love it as well.  Taking it to the ceiling and floating shelves on it !!

Turning completely around you see another bank of cabinets and a new window overlooking the back of the house and pool.  To the right it will continue with a new stainless oven and hood with  access to the lounge through a pocket door.

This space is large enough for a banquet, 7 foot table, bench and chairs.  We figure for the twice a year they entertain large groups for meals, using the two islands with bar stools can house the kids or we can take it just outside around the pool.  The plan is to keep it comfortable and easy for their day to day lives and a formal dining room was just a waste of space.

I mentioned floors . . the entire house and it's honey pine floors will be replaced with a grey washed tile - similar to wood but tile.   Combining these other tiles to create a pattern on the foyer floor.


The back of the house, kids bedrooms, guest room, family room are all spaces I will incorporate previous purchases.  Take a look at what we installed last year - great pieces, just will be used in different ways.

The guest room will use her existing master bedroom pieces we picked last year.  Side tables, lamps, rug all from current master.  I will bring the teal juju hat, custom upholstered mirror, my husband's art and the guest room dresser all in this room.  Adding - just a new chandelier.

Lucia's room will have the current guest room bed and her current rug and chandelier.  To create a "big girl" space and new look,  I want to use this new wall paper on the walls with a polka dot on the ceiling, side tables, lamps, occasional chair and a new dresser, saving all her other baby things for a possible new brother or sister's room.

The current guest room bed, now Lucia's, has an upholstered inset in the headboard.  Changing to this fabric to tie colors together.  Plan on using the same fabric for romans in the window but adding a bit of fun trim to the bottom edge !

The nursery will have all of Lucia's things plus Lindsay's current guest room lamp and family room curtains repurposed into roman shades and the sconces we chose for her current den.

The back of the house has a large family room that leads to the pool.  This is the space I plan to incorporate most of the things we used in the previous house..... only adding a new grey sofa, new larger rug and an additional tall, circle cabinet for storage.  They'll "live" in this room with the kids.  Still using white for the walls, but adding those color pops for kid fun and for the simple fact they are great pieces we already have !!

The back wall has a niche perfect for a desk and a floor to ceiling cork wall.  Rather than leaving the closet door with zero interest, maybe a barn track with sliding panel door hiding more kid stuff !

A new - cooler looking fan with a bit of the mid-century vibe to tie back to the chairs !!

OMG . . . it's a lot, and all for you Lindsay.  Hope this helps in visualizing !!! 

Happy Friday !!!!!